2017 Regional IT Jobs Reports

2017 IT jobs report: South Central region

For many IT skills, job openings outnumber candidates in the South Central region.

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2017 Regional IT Jobs Reports

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This IT jobs report covers Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. (Also see our reports for the Pacific, Mountain, North Central, Northeast and Southeast regions.)

Job market snapshot

Kerry Stover, COO at Pariveda Solutions, a technology strategic services consultancy in Dallas, says he has to cast a wide net to fill positions that demand technical infrastructure skills such as servers and networking. Even harder to get, he adds, are strong enterprise architects, “people who can put together systems and processes,” cybersecurity professionals and data scientists.

One hiring strategy Pariveda and other employers in the area are turning to is “to find people in smaller markets to bring them into larger markets,” Stover says. “So you might search in Waco to draw them to Austin. If you’re in Dallas, you’ll put out leads in Oklahoma City, because it’s easier to get this talent in those places, and you can find people who want to move.”

Matthew Ripaldi, Houston-based regional senior vice president at engineering and tech staffing firm Modis agrees that a talent war is raging in the South Central region. “For a lot of skills, there are more opportunities than there are candidates,” he says.

Application developers and business analysts as well as big data specialists and service desk professionals are in high demand, Ripaldi says. Other hot skills include testing/quality assurance and networking. Many companies, particularly in the oil and gas industry, which is starting to grow again, are releasing money to fund backlogged work, and they need project managers.

Competition for talent is particularly high in Texas and Tennessee, according to Ripaldi. Both states have a diverse mix of industries, with particularly strong healthcare sectors. In terms of cities, Austin has a vibrant startup scene looking to hire technology pros, says Ripaldi, and respondents to Modis’ most recent Tech Trends Survey, released in September 2016, identified Dallas and Houston as growing tech hot spots.

The region does have an advantage in hiring, with businesses able to draw in and retain candidates who are attracted to the area for its warm weather, low living costs and unique culture. “There’s something about that Southern hospitality that people love,” Ripaldi says.

IT salaries: National vs. South Central region

Average 2017 total compensation (base salary + bonus)

See Computerworld's IT Salary Watch for lots more information about tech salaries this year.

Best Places to Work in IT 2017: South Central region

Ten employers from the South Central region were named to Computerworld's 100 Best Places to Work in IT list for 2017. Click on any company name to see its employer profile.

See the full Best Places to Work in IT 2017 report.

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Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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